Mechelen vs OH Leuven Preview & Prediction | 2023-24 Belgian Pro League
When is Mechelen vs OH Leuven on and what time does it start? Mechelen vs OH Leuven will take place on Saturday 23rd September, 2023 – 17:15 (UK)
Where can I get tickets for Mechelen vs OH Leuven? Visit each team’s official website for the latest ticket information
Where can I watch Mechelen vs OH Leuven in the UK? Mechelen vs OH Leuven will not be televised live and cannot be streamed in the UK
With the Jupiler Pro League being reduced from 18 to 16 teams this season, it is likely to be a little more congested down at the bottom end of the table. Mechelen were one of a few sides that will be worried about drifting from mid-table down into the bottom four and the end of season relegation playoff round.
Under the management of former Burnley midfielder Steven Defour, the home team come into this on the back of a 2-0 loss away to Sint-Truiden in their most recent outing, last weekend. They have started the season with three victories, a draw and three defeats as they sit firmly in the middle of the 16-team table after seven matches.
Under the ownership of Leicester City’s owners King Power, Oud-Heverlee Leuven have also suffered through some financial issues over recent years. They remain coached by Marc Brys, who has been in charge since 2020, and there is a risk that any sort of stagnation could see them slipping down into the bottom four this season.
Their most recent outing was a surprise 1-1 draw at home to Gent, last weekend. They begin this weekend sitting just above the bottom four after seven games so far this season. They have managed just one victory in those seven matches, as well as three draws. That victory came against still winless Kortrijk before the international break.
THE TEAM NEWS
Steven Defour has a couple of injury concerns but he will be hoping to welcome back full-back Boli Bolingoli, who sustained an injury on the opening day of the season.
PREDICTED XI (4-4-2): Coucke; Belghali, Vanlerberghe, Cobbaut, Foulon; Hairemans, Konate, Schoofs, Pflucke; Mrabti, Lauberbach
UNAVAILABLE: Van Hof (Injured)
QUESTIONABLE: Bolingoli (Injured)
Marc Brys has some serious injury issues with key man Mathieu Maertens definitely unavailable for this weekend, whilst on-loan striker Nathan Opoku is also a doubt, once again.
PREDICTED XI (3-4-2-1): Prevot; Schingtienne, Pletinckx, Ricca; Sagrado, Doan, Schrijvers, Mendyl; Kiyine, Maziz
UNAVAILABLE: Maertens (Injured)
QUESTIONABLE: Opoku (Injured), Calut (Injured)
These two sides were firmly ensconced in mid-table last season and pre-season expectations were for that to be the same again. However, they have started very differently so far with Mechelen mounting a push into the top-half of the table, whilst OH Leuven are struggling at the opposite end. Given their respective starts to the 2023/24 campaign, as well as their home advantage, backing Mechelen looks the way to go for this one.
TIP: MECHELEN TO WIN